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Auto Almanac

Drawing Board

2012 Ford Ranger: Before you get excited about the upcoming replacement for Ford’s venerable compact pickup, be aware that the list of 180 countries scheduled to sell the five-passenger Ranger doesn’t include the United States or Canada. Customers in the rest of the world can choose between a base 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, a 3.2-liter five-cylinder diesel or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas powerplant. If you think this Ranger would make an ideal replacement for your small truck, lobby your Ford dealer without delay. Small pickup fans unite!

You Auto Know

n North American drivers consume nearly 24 million barrels of oil a day.

n Burning a 7-pound gallon of gasoline results in 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Who am I?

To guess his secret identity, read the following clues.

1) Like many NASCAR drivers, he followed in his father’s footsteps.

2) When father “Coo Coo” crashed and broke his shoulder, he got his shot behind the wheel. Later, he would win back-to-back Daytona 500s.

3) He was one of Dodge’s prime drivers when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001.

4) He campaigned the Number 40 until the end of the 2005 season.

Give up? Like most racers, Sterling Marlin has had his share of ups and downs, finally announcing his retirement from NASCAR competition in early 2010. He is now 53.

What’s up, auto doc?

The AutoDoc shares garage space with a group of automobile journalists who, although school smart, aren’t always that savvy around the shop. One of the guys who should have known better was tuning the Wheelbase Project Corvette. The wheels were blocked, the exhaust was vented outdoors and all looked to be fine, except for one thing. As he worked, the wrenches and screwdrivers began accumulating on the inner fenders. Of course, the shop cat Hugo likes to be around people and jumped up on the fender to take a look, knocking some wrenches into the running motor in the process. The engine abruptly quit, preceded by big “whack” sound. The frightened cat leapt under an adjacent vehicle and everyone stared at each other with wide eyes and gritting teeth. One wrench had fallen in and jammed the pulleys (which stalled the engine), and a missing screwdriver shot off the inside of the hood. Minor damage, yes, but someone could have been seriously injured, or worse. Needless to say, no one is allowed into the shop to work unless the tools stay on a separate tray that’s away from the vehicle. Make that your rule at home, too. You can send your tips to the Auto Doc at www.wheelbase.ws/media by clicking the “contact” link.

eBay watch

1948 Lincoln Continental, 16 bids, sold for $16,100: This impressive and relatively rare classic hasn’t significantly appreciated in value over the years. Fewer than 1,950 Continental coupes and 1,400 convertibles were built from 1946-1948; however, many have been well maintained by previous caring owners, such as this beauty with a claimed 67,000 original miles showing. All of the car’s original features are intact, including the 125-horsepower V-12 engine and three-speed manual transmission. The new owner is getting a great car at an equally great price. Visit www.ebaymotors.com

— WHEELBASE MEDIA

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